Esmeralda’s Story

In this video you’ll learn about:

  • Esmeralda’s challenges with mental health, common to many who have served, including nervousness, an inability to sleep, overthinking everything and feelings of anger
  • The implications of ignoring or denying the problem including coping mechanisms like use of alcohol
  • The benefits of therapy including improved relationship with her children, confronting and working through past experiences of abuse and neglect
  • How daily struggles can be overcome using helpful coping strategies: i.e. recognizing negative self talk, reminding herself how far she has come, how much she has been through, and that she is good enough
  • Recognizing the difficulty of facing past issues and the ongoing need for support
  • Esmeralda’s perspective on some of the barriers to treatment including socialization of women to prioritize the needs of others, mental illness itself (a sense of failure for needing help, feelings of hopelessness or being overwhelmed), military norms (looking down on her for not having finished her contract), and spaces dominated by men
  • Some empowering closing words: “we’re allowed to have these feelings, and we’re allowed to not be OK, and we’re allowed to get help, we don’t have to have all the answers.”